By Kristie Aronow
From Monet to a futuristic clean car to a rare red diamond, the opulence seems everlasting at the Naples International Art & Antique Fair (NIAFF). The distinct quality of pieces found at NIAFF cannot be overstated; you’ll find paintings by Picasso hanging on the wall and diamonds so rare that you should count yourself lucky to see one in your lifetime. The fair runs to Feb. 28, but I got to take a sneak peek at all the goodies and have found five pieces that any collector would be amiss not to seriously considering adding to their personal stash.
My favorite piece of the night was a painting by Susan Swartz, Autumn Blaze II. Michael James/Fine Art exclusively represents her work, which can be found in that National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., among several other museums and private collections.
“You feel the emotion, the heat, of the forest,” Alison P., who also was taken with the painting, says, “You can feel the oncoming winter and the last hurrah of fall.”
If you feel the need to add some sparkle to your person or give a token of devotion to your love, go for the best at Rosenberg Diamonds & Co. The company boasts a superior collection of natural diamonds that bejewel tiaras, rings and necklaces as well as more modern pieces such as key chains.
I had the pleasure of trying on Beautiful Rain, a necklace built of fancy yellow and white diamonds. As I walked, I felt the approximately 180 carats settle comfortably around my neck. While it was more ample than my normal gold chain, it was not uncomfortably heavy. In fact, the pressure reinforced the power you feel while wearing it.
Amy Margolis, an associate of Rosenberg Diamonds & Co., wearing Beautiful Rain.
A women who had the pleasure of trying it on after me exclaimed, “You don’t even need a dress,” upon viewing herself in the mirror. Cost $1 million
While Beautiful Rain dazzled, it must be said that Rosenberg’s red diamond ring steals the show. Red diamonds are devastatingly rare; there are currently less than 100 natural reds in the world. The ring displays a two-carat red diamond and a total of one carat in white diamonds. Cost $8 million
I, of course, must mention the Le chemin de halage à Granval, painted by Claude Monet in 1883. The piece, which is found in Gladwell & Co.’s alcove, is a signed and dated.
This painting was one of the earliest pictures that Monet created after moving to his, now, legendary home at Giverny. It depicts a unique scene because it is the only one Monet made showing the view facing up-stream towards the island of Port-Villez.
“It’s very peaceful and relaxing,” Patty Lang, a fellow Monet enthusiast, says. “I can picture myself as the person in the painting; I can picture myself enjoying the serenity.”
NIAFF doesn’t simply celebrate the masters of old; the fair looks for fresh, innovative art in any arena–even automobiles. Parked across from the fair’s café sits something that might look like it sprang out of Tom Cruise’s Minority Report, but don’t let it fool you.
The Alpha XXI is the latest car to come out of Investec XXI. Running off a range of energy options, including wind turbines, natural gas, Lithium batteries and gasoline, the car can reach 50 to 100 mpg. Each car is specifically made to buyers’ desires, which includes leather interior options and exterior metallic hue choices. $1.8 million
Just past the Alpha XXI you’ll find Art Link International’s nook, which features William Merritt Chase’s Shinnecock Hills from Canoe Place, Long Island.
“He painted it for the people,” Howard Brassner, owner of Art Link International, says. “Chase, to me, is the dean of American expressionist painting.
Ursula Finkelstein, a docent at Naples Museum of Art who has a degree in art history, was pleased with the piece. “I like it a lot,” Finkelstein says. “It’s a beautiful example of his work.” $1.25 million